Deep Vein Thrombosis DVT Blood Clot in Calf
Last Februaury I was diagnosed with a DVT in my right calf. I was having issues with vericose veins in that leg after the MS 150 ride here in New Jersey. I have been seriously road cycling for the past three years and doing very well. Has anyone heard of dvt's in cyclists? I am on coumadin until August or for life if any genetic blood disorders are found through blood testing. Doctors said I can exercise with cycling but to go moderately. I don't want to give up road cycling because I love it.
Interesting. I, too, have DVT and have yet to see a doc about it. Just figured it was due to bad genes (mom's side) because it *is* in fact partially a genetic phenomena. I should go get this checked out as I have noticed that with increased mileage (150-200/wk) they get worse.... hmmm....
My wife had one during a period of steady bike-commuting. She was negative for genetic risk factors, has been off blood thinners since the initial treatment. She never really modified her bike commuting, is still going at it now.
I assume your advice for moderate exercise is to reduce the risk of high-speed accidents while you're on blood thinners? Or are they telling you to keep your heart rate down? I wouldn't know anything about that.
If you are diagnosed with DVT, you are lucky. Many people die from this without ever knowing they had a problem. Definitely talk to your MD and listen to his/her advice.
I was diagnosed with a DVT in late May. Advised 6 months of Coumadin (warfarin) minimum. A hematologist (blood specialist) has advised lifetime coumadin because of other family members who have had dvt's as well. Apparently they believe that current testing can only deagnose about 70-80% of those with genetic predispositon for dvt. Although cycling is in general good exercise dehydration is one of many factors that can increase your chances of DVT whether you have a clotting disorder or not. ( Others include age over 50, birth control pills/estrogen in women, cancer, injury in your legs, recent surgery or bed rest....). My doctor has advised me to not ride while taking coumadin. I am unable to abide by this and have discussed it with him. I previously rode as much as 20-50 mile daily on my days off and shorter 10-15 miles in the evenings. There is definitely a risk riding and being on blood thinners. Over the last few years I have been flipped over the handlebars by hitting a pavement crack, hit by a car and fallen off the bike. I no longer ride long rides alone. I mostly ride about 10 miles along a trail and watch intersections carefully, or ride longer rides with my wife. There is a risk both ways because dvt untreated can go into the lungs and this can be a fatal event as well.
Originally Posted by maramara28
What is it that you are referring to? How do you have DVT and know it without being diagnosed by an actual doctor and why wouldn't you be a bit concerned? This is a very serious condition.
I was diagnosed with a DVT in 2004. I was cycling heavily at the time (and still do) and don't think it had anything to do with cycling other than (possibly) poor hydration habits. I do have a genetic predisposition (heterozygous Protein C deficiency) and even with this I was put on a 6 month coumadin therapy (vs. lifetime). The docs decided against lifetime coumadin as they perceived, given my active lifestyle, the risk of internal bleeding to be greater than the recurrence of a DVT. My father happens to be an adhesion biologist and his MD research collaborators were the ones who treated me. As active clinical researchers in the field I trust their advice.
Originally Posted by Fred61
I was pretty stupid at the time and continued mtb racing while on coumadin. I was in a mtb bike accident and, from the swelling (arm swelled up to the extent i could not bend my elbow), thought I had broken my arm. Ends up it was internal bleeding and I have a nice calcified hematoma to remind me how stupid I was to be mtn biking while on coumadin...
You may not have to give up cycling, in fact anything that increases circulation in the lower extremities reduces the potential for a DVT. But understand the risks especially if you are on coumadin.
While on coumadin:
- Assess the risk of injury. If there's an elevated risk you might take a nice fall it's probably not a good idea.
- Wear a medicalert bracelet. If you do fall and can't communicat the responders need to know you will bleed abnormally.
- Be aware of diet your especially anything containing Vitamin K.
- Be aware of anything metabolized in the liver (i.e. alcohol, over the counter paid meds, ...)
- While getting blood drawn for your INR, don't make fun of the nurse's shirt (she made me pay for that...)
I mention the Vitamin K and liver metabolization stuff since they had such a hard time stabilizing my INR. I had to get poked once a week...
I still have reminders of the DVT with some cramping and stiffness in the calf (the DVT can actually scar the vein). Be prepared to become medically "untouchable". If I call my doctor and mention "chest pain" I am shuttled to to urgent care and then always to the ER. I assume this is due to the potential liability of misdiagnosing a pulmonary embolism. Getting treated for chest colds is now a day long affair...
Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, only a cyclist who's gone through the same thing. But don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions. Make them aware that you would like to continue cycling. The two of you can weigh the risks together...
Last edited by testtube; 07-25-07 at 04:49 PM.
Seriously, if you think you have a DVT you should get it checked out.
Originally Posted by maramara28